The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Acid Survivors Foundation

Posted by caitlinate on January 23, 2009

This is just a short message about the Acid Survivors Foundation. They’re a group in Pakistan that provide support to people who have been attacked with acid/had acid thrown at them. They cover the medical, surgical, psychological, legal and rehabilitation needs of victims, including costs (which are pretty big).

Acid throwing is a particularly vicious and damaging form of violence, wherein acid is thrown on a persons body – especially on women’s faces. It has catastrophic effects on the human body causing the skin tissue to melt, often exposing the bones below the flesh and sometimes dissolving the bone. It leaves the victim disfigured and is often psychologically shattering.

Acid throwing is becoming more common in areas of Asia and Africa where acid is cheap and often readily available. It some areas it is used as a pesticide for cotton seeds and is present in a lot of homes. As such it is being more frequently as a weapon during domestic violence disputes. Most often it is men throwing it at their wives.

It occurs in remote villages of Bangladesh where women (often young adolescent girls) have acid thrown at their faces for refusing to marry a certain man. It is happening in increasing numbers in Afghanistan, as men still loyal to the Taliban react to the increase in women’s liberties there. Last year several girls were maimed on their way to school. The ASF website documents the story of one woman in Pakistan who was forced to marry her attacker.

These attacks are rarely reported and even then do not go to trial or result in a conviction.

Statistics how many women have been victims but the foundation has treated about 170 women, more than double the number of men, since it was established in early 2006 by a Frenchwoman, Valerie Khan.

Their website has information on how you can help the foundation including donating materials like clothes and toys, money for their medical programs or, if you are in Pakistan, donating some of your time.

Additionally here are some articles about acid throwing from Womens eNews and the New York Times.


2 Responses to “Acid Survivors Foundation”

  1. mscate said

    You might find this interesting, if you’re after a bit more info

  2. […] more about acid attack survivors at The Dawn […]

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